What would you tell your pre-mom self? This is the question I happened upon as I was wandering through the archives of my much-neglected blog, Defining Motherhood. A few years ago, I had come across a video called “Reflections of Motherhood” (see below) that showed various women’s responses to that thought-provoking question. Here is how I responded:
I admit that before having kids, the thought of motherhood scared me. Mainly because I was happy with the person I was and the path I was traveling through life…for the most part. Why did I want to shake things up? Especially when the examples of moms I saw on TV, in the movies and in magazines were stereotypes of over-tired, over-worked, over-worried women who had forgotten themselves, and were consumed by their children and the fruitless efforts of attempting a “balanced” life. These moms seemed like simple and flat caricatures of women. I did not want to become one of them.
And so my journey to motherhood began with a healthy dose of fear and trepidation. Those concerns had nothing to do with the pregnancy, or labor and delivery portion. Instead my fears started with what happened after the delivery pains stopped. How would I soothe a newborn? What would I do with a baby in my house by myself all day long? Would I still be able to write? What if I traded in NPR for Barney? What if I no longer recognized myself? Who would I become?
So what would I tell my pre-mom self?
Don’t be afraid of how motherhood will change you.
Stay true to your core and there’s nothing to fear.
Babies aren’t as frightening as they may appear.
Every stage passes more quickly than you think it will.
Give yourself time to find your rhythm.
It takes a village of support.
Those caricatures aren’t as flat as you may have assumed.